Taking prize place in St Peter's Basilica, just a short stroll from the world-famous Vatican Museums and the magnificent Sistine Chapel, is another one of Michelangelo's masterpieces—La Pieta.
The remarkable five-foot-tall sculpture, which depicts the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus after he was brought down from the cross, was carved from a single block of Carrara marble and was the first of Michelangelo's works to earn him acclaim. Dating back to the late 1490s, the piece was damaged and partially restored back in 1972, and today stands protected by a bulletproof glass screen.
Visitors can see La Pieta for free during a visit to St Peter's Basilica, but with such huge crowds, it’s best to book a skip-the-line tour and benefit from the knowledge of a guide. St Peter's Basilica is often combined with a visit to the Top of the Dome or a tour of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, where more of Michelangelo's works can be seen.
La Pieta is located inside St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. The cathedral is open daily from 7am to 7pm (or 6pm in winter). Admission is free.
Did you know? La Pieta is the only work that Michelangelo ever signed—his signature can be found chiseled across Mary's chest.